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<nettime> The Living Reality of Military-Economic Fascism
Ewen Chardronnet on Mon, 22 Jan 2007 18:35:19 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Living Reality of Military-Economic Fascism


«/Participants in the military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC) 
are routinely blamed for "mismanagement," not infrequently they are 
accused of "waste, fraud, and abuse," and from time to time a few of 
them are indicted for criminal offenses (Higgs 1988, 1990, xx-xxiii, 
2004; Fitzgerald 1989; Kovacic 1990a, 1990b)./

»/All of these unsavory actions, however, are typically viewed as 
aberrations -- misfeasances to be rectified or malfeasances to be 
punished while retaining the basic system of state-private cooperation 
in the production of military goods and services (for an explicit 
example of the "aberration" claim, see Fitzgerald 1989, 197?98). I 
maintain, in contrast, that these offenses and even more serious ones 
are not simply unfortunate blemishes on a basically sound arrangement, 
but superficial expressions of a thoroughgoing, intrinsic rottenness in 
the entire setup./

»/It is regrettable in any event for people to suffer under the weight 
of a state and its military apparatus, but the present arrangement -- a 
system of military-economic fascism as instantiated in the United States 
by the MICC -- is worse than full-fledged military-economic socialism. In 
the latter, the people are oppressed, because they are taxed, 
conscripted, and regimented, but they are not co-opted and corrupted by 
joining forces with their rapacious rulers; a clear line separates them 
from the predators on the "dark side."/

»/With military-economic fascism, however, the line becomes blurred, and 
a substantial number of people actively hop back and forth across it: 
advisory committees, such as the Defense Science Board and the Defense 
Policy Board and university administrators meet regularly with Pentagon 
officials (see Borger 2003 for a report of an especially remarkable 
meeting), and the revolving door spins furiously -- according to a 
September 2002 report, "[t]hirty-two major Bush appointees are former 
executives, consultants, or major shareholders of top weapons 
contractors" (Ciarrocca 2002, 2; see also Hamburger 2003, Doward 2003, 
Stubbing 1986, 90, 96, and Kotz 1988, 230), and a much greater number 
cross the line at lower levels./

»/Moreover, military-economic fascism, by empowering and enriching 
wealthy, intelligent, and influential members of the public, removes 
them from the ranks of potential opponents and resisters of the state 
and thereby helps to perpetuate the state's existence and its intrinsic 
class exploitation of people outside the state. Thus, military-economic 
fascism simultaneously strengthens the state and weakens civil society, 
even as it creates the illusion of a vibrant private sector 
patriotically engaged in supplying goods and services to the heroic 
military establishment (the Boeing Company's slickly produced television 
ads, among others, splendidly illustrate this propagandistically 
encouraged illusion)/»

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